How To Use Lemongrass To Repel Mice (And Why Mice Hate It)

mouse sitting on wooden table

Lemongrass plants, scientifically known as Cymbopogon citratus, have been widely used for various purposes, including their aromatherapy, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties. Lemongrass plants are also increasingly gaining popularity as a natural method to repel mice. Let’s dive into the world of these multi-functional plants, exploring their effectiveness and potential uses.

Mice are attracted to homes in search of food, warmth, and shelter, but their presence creates discomfort for most humans. Fortunately, lemongrass plants contain certain essential oil components, like citral, that have proven to be toxic and repellent to some pests. While the effect of lemongrass on mice is still under investigation, it has already shown repellent properties against insects like Sitophilus granarius.

In addition to lemongrass, other plants can also be effective in repelling mice and other pests. These plants, such as peppermint and rosemary, can be strategically planted in your garden or used inside your home as a natural and environmentally-friendly alternative to chemicals. With this knowledge, you can create a green sanctuary in your home, keeping pests like mice at bay.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lemongrass plants have various beneficial properties, including their potential as a natural mouse repellent.
  • Mice are attracted to homes for food, warmth, and shelter, but their presence could pose health risks.
  • Other natural alternatives, like peppermint and rosemary, can also be effective in repelling mice and maintaining a pest-free environment.

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Lemongrass: An Overview

Identification and Growth

Lemongrass is a perennial tropical plant with a lemony scent and taste, often used in herbal teas, medicine, and cooking. It has long, slender, green leaves that grow in arching clusters, making it resemble an ornamental grass.

Cultivation and Maintenance

Growing lemongrass is relatively easy, but it does require a few essentials. If you don’t live in a tropical climate, don’t worry – you can still grow it in a container and bring it inside during the colder months.

  • Sunlight: Lemongrass loves full sun. Ensure your plants receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
  • Soil: Well-drained and moist soil is crucial. Be aware that lemongrass can be slightly invasive; planting it in a container can help keep it from taking over your garden.
  • Water: Keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. Just like you, it likes to be hydrated!

Now let’s get to the “juicy” part: why lemongrass is effective for repelling mice.

Lemongrass plants produce citronella, an essential oil found in lemongrass and other plants in the same family. It’s this oil that is widely believed to repel mice, as they find the scent unpleasant.

Effectiveness of Lemongrass as a Mouse Repellent

lemongrass oil and fresh lemongrass

How Lemongrass Affects Rodents

Lemongrass plants (Cymbopogon spp.) are known for their aroma which may be pleasant to humans, but it seems to have the opposite effect on rodents. Mice and rats have a strong sense of smell, and the powerful scent of lemongrass can be overwhelming for them. This makes the plant a potential natural repellent for those pesky creatures!

In addition, lemongrass contains citral, a compound that has been found to have an impact on the central nervous system of rodents. It is thought that this ingredient may cause confusion and disorientation in mice, further keeping them at bay.

Though the effectiveness of lemongrass as a mouse repellent is currently being researched, scientists at Cornell note that it has been shown to be repellent to other vertebrates like cats and dogs. That’s a good sign that it is also effective as a deterrent against mice.

Here’s a table you can quickly reference when using lemongrass to prevent mice in your home. We’ll provide more in depth instructions for using these methods in the next section.

MethodHow to Do It
Plant lemongrassPlant lemongrass around your home and garden to repel rodents
Use lemongrass leavesCrush lemongrass leaves and place them in areas where you notice rodent activity
Use lemongrass essential oilAdd a few drops of lemongrass essential oil to cotton balls and keep those in confined spaces like pantries and cabinets to keep the aroma in the air

Remember, lemongrass plants thrive in warm climates, so make sure to plan accordingly for your region if you plan to plant it outside.

While homemade and non-toxic repellents like lemongrass have their benefits, sometimes you might need professional pest control services if the rodent infestation is severe. Make sure to weigh your options and choose the most effective solution for your situation.

If you’re in need of a pest control professional, check out our pest control locator tool to find help near you.

Using Lemongrass to Repel Mice and Other Pests

Mice are attracted to our homes due to the warmth, food, and shelter they provide. Luckily, using lemongrass plants is a natural method that many people turn to as a solution for deterring these unwanted visitors.

In the Home and Garden

Not only mice, but also pests like ants and flies find the pungent smell of lemongrass quite off-putting. Planting lemongrass in your garden or strategically placing potted plants near entrances can help create a barrier that deters these critters. Besides, lemongrass provides a pleasant scent for humans and adds a lovely touch to your landscape.

Other plants known to keep mice away due to their strong smell include lavender, mint, citrus, onions, sage, peppermint, garlic, spearmint, cloves, rosemary, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and more. A diverse garden consisting of these plants can be beneficial in maintaining a pest-free environment.

Creating Lemongrass-based Repellents

Another way to prevent mice and other pests from invading your home is to create lemongrass-based repellents. To begin with, you’ll need lemongrass essential oil, which is a concentrated source of the plant’s strong scent.

I recommend Majestic Pure Lemongrass Essential Oil. It’s made of 100% high quality lemongrass essential oil and has a built in dropper which makes application easy.

Consider creating a simple spray by mixing a few drops of lemongrass essential oil with water in a spray bottle. Be sure to test the mixture in a small, inconspicuous area first to avoid any skin irritations or damage to surfaces. You can also make sachets filled with dried lemongrass to be placed strategically around your home.

Remember, the goal is to keep mice and other pests away with the power of the lemongrass plant. By incorporating this natural method, you can ensure a more pleasant and pest-free environment in your home and garden.

When Lemongrass Isn’t Enough

Cute Little Grey House Mouse Hiding in Window Sill of garage

Even though lemongrass plants are quite the warriors when it comes to repelling mice, sometimes they might not be enough to keep those pesky little creatures at bay. So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and explore some other methods and plants that might help.

First and foremost, essential oils are a natural and powerful alternative to help deter mice. Here are a few that might show those rodents who’s boss:

  • Peppermint oil: Mice simply can’t stand the minty-fresh smell, making it an excellent choice to keep them away.
  • Eucalyptus oil: Just as mice are deterred by the strong scent of lemongrass, they also find the aroma of eucalyptus oil to be very unappealing.

Using these essential oils around your home’s common entry points or nesting areas is a great way to discourage mice from setting up camp.

Other plants that can help deter mice include:

  • Mint: Not just a garnish for your mojito, mint plants are also a natural deterrent for mice! They cannot stand the strong smell and will steer clear of minty areas.
  • Lavender: This lovely purple plant not only looks and smells amazing, but it also serves as a barrier to keep mice away.

In addition to introducing these plants into your landscape, there are some preventative measures you can take to make your home less attractive to mice, such as:

  • Decluttering your home and eliminating cozy hiding spots for the mice.
  • Storing food in airtight containers to avoid tempting any mice with easy-access food sources.
  • Sealing all cracks and openings on the exterior of your house to prevent any unwelcome furry guests from entering.

Remember, the key to maintaining a mice-free home is to stay vigilant and combine different methods. Don’t just rely on lemongrass plants alone. Having multiple layers of defense is your best bet to ward off uninvited rodents!


Preventing mice with lemongrass plants is a natural and effective way to protect your home from these unwanted guests. With its strong, citrusy aroma, lemongrass is believed to be unappealing to rodents.

Planting several lemongrass plants around your home will create a barrier that can deter mice from entering. You could also consider placing lemongrass essential oil-soaked cotton balls around common entry points to boost this effect.

By comparison, other plants like mint and lavender could also be used to repel mice. However, lemongrass seems to be the go-to plant for this task.

To keep mice away from your home, you can also follow these simple steps:

  • Regularly check and seal up any gaps, cracks, or holes in walls, windows, and doors
  • Keep all food and trash in airtight containers
  • Eliminate clutter and unused materials to reduce hiding spots for mice
  • Maintain cleanliness and avoid leaving out any pet food or dishes overnight

By implementing these methods, especially introducing lemongrass to your surrounding area, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a mice-free environment.

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